低沈的藍調

你很難想像一個在狂飆的六〇年代成名詩人,到二十一世紀 2012 年的今天,還在唱歌,而且還巡迴世界辦演唱會。Leonard Cohen 沒有 Lady Gaga 驚天動地的舞台效果,伴唱的也不是半裸的俊男美女,但去聽他唱歌的永遠是他的死忠歌迷,熟悉他每一段哼唱,每一句歌詞。他幾年前在敦倫演唱會上如老友般的講話,總伴隨著理解的笑聲,那親密的情景,連YouTube 都不能掩藏。

二月份,他在波士頓從小說家魯西迪手上領了新英格蘭最佳歌詞文學獎。民謠教父鮑伯迪倫稱呼他為「藍調的卡夫卡」,我不知道這稱號恰不恰當,不過 Leonard Cohen 與卡夫卡一樣是猶太人,藍調的魅力真沒有種族與文化隔閡。魯西迪唸了他在 Bird on the wire 裡的歌詞:"Like a bird on the wire/ Like a drunk in the midnight choir/ I have tried, in my way, to be free."文學本來就是歌,歌本來是文學。但 Cohen 把這個說法變成了事實。

他最近在接受訪問的時候說,他只寫熟悉瞭解的事,可我們熟悉瞭解的事這麼多,卻怎麼無法寫出一樣意味深長的句子? 就算能寫出來,也沒有他那無可替代的好嗓子。今年初的專輯 Old Ideas 出來後,很多人發現他著名的低沈音域更低了,問他的低音到底有沒有底?他說戒煙以後,原以為嗓音會升高的,結果反而更低沈。為了平衡,他的目標是在八十歲時又可以把煙抽起來。

是的,他已經77歲了!九月份 Leonard Cohen 還要在倫敦開演唱會,這個老傢伙真是有夠嗆!

這是 Old Ideas 裡十首新歌裡的一首,Show me the place,歌唱到後半,你才知道他指的 slave 是誰。一切的愛意、追憶、悔悟、與希望,彷彿隨著Leonard Cohen低聲吟唱,滑進你心裡那最柔軟的角落⋯

Show me the place, where you want your slave to go
Show me the place, I’ve forgotten I don’t know
Show me the place where my head is bend and low
Show me the place, where you want your slave to go

Show me the place, help me roll away the stone
Show me the place, I can’t move this thing alone
Show me the place where the word became a man
Show me the place where the suffering began

The troubles came I saved what I could save
A shred of light, a particle away
But there were chains so I hastened to the hay
There were chains, a lot of chains
Like a spade

Show me the place, where you want your slave to go
Show me the place, I’ve forgotten I don’t know
Show me the place, where you want your slave to go

The troubles came I saved what I could save
A shred of light, a particle away
But there were chains so I hastened to the hay
There were chains so I loved you like a slave

Show me the place
Show me the place
Show me the place

Show me the place, help me roll away the stone
Show me the place, I can’t move this thing alone
Show me the place where the word became a man
Show me the place where the suffering began